Friday, October 26, 2012
I had my cat put to sleep last Thursday, and I must say it went much better than I had anticipated.
The day before I put her to sleep, I decided I would give her favorite treat to her (it was the only thing she would eat that day): tuna water (water drained from cans of tuna). Throughout the day, I cracked open three cans of tuna, and she lapped the water all up. She begged for more, but I couldn't find more in my cupboard. I felt guilty that I didn't have any more to give her. Why didn't I think of buying her more tuna ahead of time??
I couldn't sleep that night; sleeping seemed like such a waste of time when I could be spending more time with Missy. I could see that she was doing even worse than the day before. She could barely walk---it was obvious that her hips were hurting her badly. It was really hard for me to watch her in such pain. She drank a lot of water, but had to drink it lying down because she couldn't support herself anymore.
During those early morning hours, I lit a candle and read through the service of the dead (funeral service) from my old hymnal from church. Really, the "old Missy" was already gone, and I began the gut-wrenching process of mourning her death. It was really rough for me to read through the funeral service, and I sobbed and sobbed. After I read through the service, I read some Psalms from the Bible, and those words really comforted me. Between the Bible reading and watching my cat's health deteriorate before my very eyes, I began to realize that putting her to sleep was the right choice. I knew it was the best gift I could give to her. Missy would cry out in pain, and I told her that help was on the way. Just hang in there a few more hours and it would be over soon.
The vet came out to the house. Before she began the procedure, she explained everything to me. She was very kind and understanding. She gave Missy a muscle relaxant first so that she wouldn't feel the actual injection that would stop her heart. While Missy was relaxing, I said my final goodbyes to her. When I was ready (and only when I was ready), the vet injected the second shot. Soon it was over. My baby was gone. I wept.
I took some of her fur that they had shaved off of her front leg at the injection site. I saved her toys, and I put the rest of her things in storage. I'm thinking of putting her toys and some pictures of her in a shadow box to remember her by. I didn't want her body to bury or her ashes to keep or scatter. They would mean nothing to me. Even when I visit my mom's grave, I don't talk to her like some people do when they visit grave sites of loved ones. I know my mom's not there any longer. What I remember of her is no longer there. It's the same with Missy. She's gone.
The house seems so empty without her. There's no one to greet me at the bottom of the stairs first thing in the morning, or at the front door when I come home. I miss her terribly, but I know I did the right thing. I am certain she is in a much better place now, finally freed from her tremendous pain and suffering.
When I tell people that I put my cat to sleep, the first thing they typically ask is if I'm going to get another cat. People don't seem to understand the fact that my cat was a member of my family. (When a couple loses a child, you wouldn't dare ask if they'll have another baby right away.) It's as though people think that getting another cat could possibly replace the hole I have in my heart. I can't just go right out and get another cat. Not yet, anyway. I need time to grieve.
I found the only picture I have of the two of us together. It's something I will always treasure. This picture was taken several years ago, before my weight loss, and when Missy was in her prime.
If you read this far, thank you. I just needed to get this out.
Rest in peace, Missy.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I need some humor to start my day today. How about you?
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I am extremely upset over what to do about my 17 year old cat, Missy, who I love more than life itself. She is the only pet I've ever had. I've been her momma for 12 years now. (She was abandoned by her first owner when a neighbor in my building had to move out of her apartment. Then Missy had another owner, who gave her to me when I moved out of the apartment building to the townhouse I live in now.) Missy is truly my little "baby."
Missy's health is failing her, as it has for quite some time now. Her back legs are shaky and barely strong enough for her to support her body when she eats from a dish on the floor or uses the litter box. Sometimes she pees just outside of the litter box--she'll stand (half sit) in the litter box with her little butt hanging outside of the box. Her weight has been plummeting. I remember when she weighed 13 lbs. Now I'm guessing she weighs around 5 lbs. soaking wet. She just keeps getting weaker and weaker. She has a hyperthyroid condition, but I haven't been able to afford to pay for her medicine for it. (Can you say "GUILT"???)
Here's Missy in December 2007....
...And here she is in February of this year, just five years later.
She has even gotten a little thinner since that picture was taken.
I will be going away for 2 weeks in November (the 7th through the 21st). As much as it pains me to say, it would be *convenient* for me to have her put to sleep before I go. For one thing, I wouldn't need to have someone take care of her, and I wouldn't worry about her while I was gone. Also, it's possible she may die a natural death while I'm gone, and it would be tragic for me to not be able to see her before she is cremated. But is having her put to sleep the best thing (and the right thing) for me to do for her?? Is it right of me to do this out of convenience? It just really doesn't seem like it is an act of love for her. It seems like a thing to do for ME.
One friend says that putting a pet that is in pain out of its misery is the greatest act of love you can do for your pet. Although my sister said she would take good care of Missy while I'm away, she agrees with my friend, and she thinks that I ought to get this taken care of within the next two weeks so that I have a little bit of time to mourn before I leave for my trip on 11/7. I don't want to rush it, but if my cat is truly in pain, I ought to do something about it. If I were to wait until I get back from my trip, it would be between Thanksgiving and Christmas. What a hell of a time to have her put to sleep!!! My mom died in early December '04, and that's bad enough! I don't need to associate another death with the holidays. (But again, that's just me thinking about me, me, ME, and not Missy.)
I would absolutely DREAD coming back from my vacation to an empty apartment. It's just been Missy and me here, so when Missy dies, I'll be all alone here.
As far as eating is concerned, I am very afraid of what I've been seeing as a downward trend toward more and more emotional eating. I have always reacted to everything emotional in my life by eating more and more. Unlike others who pick at their food when they get sad, I eat a lot when I get depressed. The more depressed I get, the more I eat----and the choices aren't exactly healthy ones. True confessions time---I ate a one-pound package of cookies this evening alone.
What am I to do???
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I thought I ought to post an update on my goal of not eating any chocolate.......
I reread what I wrote in my last blog, and I think it came off like I thought I might relapse------and that would be that. Streak over. There's no use trying to get back on track, because relapse is inevitable.
But I didn't mean it that way. I had just meant that I thought I shouldn't expect absolute, 100% perfection in myself right off the bat. I mean, no one's perfect. I had thought that relapse might very well happen the next day, or the day after that for all I knew, but that if and/or when I would relapse, I would forgive myself and get right back on that horse and start over with fresh resolve. That's what I had meant.
Anyway, I am still taking my goal one day at a time......and I have really surprised myself! I STILL haven't had any chocolate since Sept. 12th! Happy dance!
Except---I am still doing a lot of emotional eating. The only difference now from what I used to do is that I have just traded my chocolate mini-binges with mini-binges with healthy foods. Now, I do realize that may not sound like a problem, but really---how many Greek yogurts and high-protein nutrition bars should one have (one after another) before saying that it's too much?? One? Two? Six?? While I am eating them one after another, I know I am not physically hungry. I mean, I can't be hungry! I just ate! And yet, I eat the bars and the yogurts, one by one. I reason to myself that they are healthy foods, so why not eat them? And that's true -- to an extent. Yes, they are healthy foods, but I think I am abusing them, just like I did with the chocolate. (Angry? Have some chocolate. Lonely? Eat more chocolate. And so on.) My caloric intake often exceeds my maximum calories for the day in these healthy snacks alone, even before including my regular meals! So my weight is not going down. If anything, it is going up.
I really need to find ways to curb the emotional eating. What works for you? I could use some ideas.
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